By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Rioters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

It will be forever etched in the minds of the lawmakers and everyone who was there that day. Eyewitness News spoke with a member of the New Jersey National Guard who says he will never forget that day.

READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Another Round Of Snow Expected Overnight Into Thursday Morning Commute

Like many of us, this National Guardsman was watching the attack unfold on television. And then he says his phone rang and he had no choice but to answer.

“Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever thought that we would be called up to go the Capitol to protect the Capitol. It’s just something you don’t think about,” 1st Sgt. Joseph Kern said.

But that call came and Kern and his troops answered. Eyewitness News was in Blackwood a year ago as 100 of his soldiers with the New Jersey National Guard geared up to protect the Capitol. They would be in Washington D.C. for the next three weeks through the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

“I’ve never been part of a prior inauguration so I have nothing to base that off of. But in my times overseas and seeing how cities are locked down, that’s what it felt like through the layers of security to get into the Mall was nuts. It felt the same way as trying to get through the green zone in Baghdad,” Kern said.

READ MORE: Holy Grounds Coffee Company Created In Effort to Bring Employment Opportunities To Those In Need

They worked closely with the Secret Service and Capitol Police. After the attack of Jan. 6, their main mission was riot control.

To secure the inauguration, some 25,000 national guardsmen and women were called to Washington.

“These officers did not come to work that day as Republicans or Democrats, but simply as people responsible for working to keep us all safe,” Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said.

According to the Department of Justice, 725 people have been arrested. They come from all 50 states. Fifty-nine of the arrests happened in Pennsylvania, 22 were in New Jersey and three were in Delaware.

“This was not a peaceful protest. These were crimes against our country and against the U.S. Constitution itself,” Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon said.

MORE NEWS: Man Critically Injured, More Than 45 Shell Casings Found In Tacony Shooting, Police Say

Kern said it was mission accomplished because the inauguration was peaceful.